In a sense, Esty Skin Studio began when its owner, Jessica Chapman, was 15. At this ripe age, she was given her first spa day as a gift. It enchanted her. After immediately falling in love with the industry, she started on a path that had her working for numerous spas at the age of 16. The aesthetic wunderkind wound her way further down that path by taking countless classes, working with mentors, and training other aestheticians, all of which culminated with her latest endeavor, Esty. Together with a staff of equally skilled beautifiers, Jessica presents indulgent facials, clarifying peels, and full-body waxes that use all-natural Épillyss products. Their experience, the beautiful spa in which they work, and their passion for skincare have garnered the team numerous press accolades and enough post-treatment high-fives to necessitate custom kevlar gloves for the entire staff.
When Martha Millan says, "Beauty shouldn't hurt," she's not peddling a slogan—her first job in the beauty industry literally caused her pain. Working at an upscale salon, her exposure to common hair and makeup products triggered hives and headaches. While searching for more natural goods for personal use, her research revealed unsettling truths about many industry product lines that often use irritating perfumes to mask the underlying odors of harsh chemicals. Feeling that everyone should have the opportunity to look beautiful without fear of harming health, she bought a salon and transformed it into Salon O Day Spa.
Amid Salon O Day's industrial decor, Millan and her team of stylists, aestheticians, and a massage therapist use products so natural that some are even edible, though Millan imagines the taste would leave something to be desired: barbecue sauce. Among the array of certified-organic, not-tested-on-animals, gluten- and chemical-free products, Millan's favorites include Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, developed by an American physician who advocates against overexfoliation. For hair, stylists use products from lines including Surface Hair and Organic Color Systems, and during nail services, technicians use natural products from SpaRitual in tandem with scrubs made in-house from ingredients bought at a local co-op.
Owner Samia named 3 Graces Skincare and Spa after the Greek goddesses of beauty, charm, and joy. A reproduction of Raphael's The Three Graces adorns the Mediterranean-themed haven, its figures hinting at the smooth skin and divine powers waiting behind the door of each treatment room. Between earth-toned walls, aestheticians conjure radiant skin through clinical skincare services. Lasers remove body hair and spider veins, and pharmaceutical-grade facials reverse signs of aging.
Barefoot Massage? Yes, I massage with my feet, and offer the most advanced barefoot bodywork sessions in the area. Try San Antonio's deepest most luxurious massage, and watch how fast your body heals! Get off your feet and relax under mine...
Throughout her two-year stint at a cardiac rehab clinic, Lydia Hernandez met countless patients who suffered from stress and persistent pain. Feeling she could be doing more to help these patients, she founded her own private massage practice, which has since expanded to include a number of massage therapists plus an extra-terrestrial receptionist. The multifaceted staff is proficient in 14 different types of massage modalities. Some methods, such as Swedish, hot-stone, and couples' treatments, are focused on general relaxation and overall well-being, whereas modalities such as deep-tissue, pain-relief, and neuromuscular massage are perfect for those dealing with aches caused by nagging sports injuries and bad backs.
To Shannon Edwards-Moore, a massage isn’t only a relaxing experience—it’s also a chance to leave clients feeling balanced in body, mind, and soul. In addition to calming Swedish massages, which she especially recommends for those new to massage, Shannon targets tension and knots with more intense pressure during deep-tissue sessions. Sports massages help stave off athletic injuries or undo the pain caused by limbo incidents, and prenatal massages soothe tired muscles and pregnancy discomfort.
Add-ons take the relaxation even deeper as Shannon applies hot stones, fills the room with tranquil aromatherapy, or treats faces to scrubs, masks, and hot towels. Tucked inside the Alamo Family Fitness Center, her private massage room is awash in ocean blues and soft yellows.
Skin the Day Spa prides itself on exceptional customer service, pampering men and women of all backgrounds, foregrounds, and poregrounds. Skin's 70-minute signature facial ($95) combines the relaxation of deep cleansing and facial massage with the nose-bombing scents of aromatherapy. During the approximately 45-minute natural warm cream manicure ($20), an expert finger-tip rejuvenator will regale your mitten-stuffers with mollycoddling, shaping your nails, cosseting your cuticles, relaxing you with massage, and applying a fresh coat of shiny OPI polish. Reward hard-working back muscles with a 30-minute stress-relief massage ($40) or opt for the soothing heat and moisturizing therapy of a paraffin wax treatment ($25), soothing clients' roughened fingertips and palms and leaving them with a high-fiveable mold of their own hands.